WWE: Vince McMahon on WWE’s Declining TV Viewership, Top Matches of 2020, Updated SD Ratings

Vince McMahon Comments on WWE’s Declining Television Viewership During COVID-19

WWE held a digital investors meeting earlier this month to discuss a variety of company related topics. One of the topics discussed included Vince McMahon’s thoughts on WWE’s declining television viewership during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a 30-plus year track record of creating compelling characters and engaging a variety of audiences, and we obviously remain confident we can continue that with our collective ability, even in the most challenging environments with no live audience.

The media echo system obviously has changed. We change with it. Our engagement metrics across platforms are understandably and obviously — however, the importance of linear programming is paramount in all of our businesses — we consistently have seen year-over-year increases in a variety of digital metrics and engagement. And positive trends have continued, even during COVID.

Conversely, TV viewership trends have been negatively impacted by COVID, obviously, and the lack of a live audience. We are still nonetheless the number-one television show on USA [Network] and consistently the number-one broadcast show on Fridays among key demos.

We expect a combination of valuable promotional inventory from our TV partners with the return of sports events programming. And a deep roster of charismatic talent will have a positive impact on viewership over the long-term.”

Transcript h/t: Wrestlenomics.com

WWE’s Top 10 Matches of 2020 So Far List

WWE.com recently released a Top 10 list featuring their picks for the best WWE and NXT matches of the year so far.

In regards to the breakdowns, WWE pay-per-view events lead with six matches listed, followed by NXT TakeOver and specials events at two matches. NXT and SmackDown each had one match listed.

In an interesting note, the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” between Edge and Randy Orton at Backlash 2020 was not ranked as WWE’s top match of the year so far.

Full list:

  1. Undertaker vs. AJ Styles – Boneyard Match (WrestleMania 36, April 4)
  2. Edge vs. Randy Orton (Backlash, June 14)
  3. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Io Shirai – NXT Women’s Championship (NXT TakeOver: In Your House, June 7)
  4. Men’s Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble, Jan. 26, 2020)
  5. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles – Intercontinental Championship (SmackDown, June 12)
  6. Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins – WWE Championship (Money in the Bank, May 10)
  7. Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair – NXT Women’s Championship (WrestleMania 36, April 5)
  8. Men’s and Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Matches (Money in the Bank, May 10)
  9. Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole – Winner Take All (NXT Great American Bash, July 8)
  10. Matt Riddle vs. Timothy Thatcher – First-ever NXT Fight Pit (NXT, May 27)

Updated WWE Friday Night SmackDown Ratings

This past Friday’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown drew a final viewership of 1,924,000 on FOX, according to Showbuzz Daily. This was the down compared to the initial overnight number of 1,971,000 viewers on the network.

The original intital number included viewership from several MLB games due to FOX preempting last week’s episode for baseball on several local network stations.